There’s been a hiring orgy of late in the local food scene with restaurants switching up the ranks and welcoming new chefs. Ted’s Butcherblock at 334 East Bay St. recently bulked up the staff to accommodate a burgeoning catering business, with the addition of Becky Woofter of Louisville, Ky. and Mike Refieuna of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Over at the Vendue Inn and Library Restaurant, new executive chef Jason Gorski, hailing from Pittsburgh, will work the menu of traditional Southern favorites. And finally, the Ocean Room at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island installed Kevin Ives as chef de cuisine a couple weeks ago. He plans to shake things up entirely, with new menu items like “rosemary-poached loin of Rocky Mountain elk” and “truffle-scented corn pudding.” We know this glut of newbies makes Jeff Allen’s mouth water, because he’ll have to be dispatched to see what their food is all about. —Liz Robinson
Mimi’s Is Staying Put
A rumor reached us recently that James Island mainstay Mimi’s Creekside was closing up. So we called over there to get the real story and they categorically denied all intimations of a possible closing. Yes, the property is up for sale, but Mimi’s owners have extended their lease and they’re not going anywhere. That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from Mimi’s diehards. —Josh Rosenthal
Savor This, “Foodies”
The S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism has launched a new, user-friendly, microsite to celebrate S.C.’s culinary offerings, www.savorsouthcarolina.com. The site invites readers to tell others about their favorite chefs, restaurants, and personal recipes. It includes information about wineries and breweries too, as well as sources for S.C. products like grits and boiled peanuts — you know, good old Southern favorites. So, log on and check it. You’ll feel a lot better about going to restaurants that you know come highly recommended. —Josh Rosenthal
Chef for a Day
Here’s a great opportunity for aspiring gourmands. Or rather, for aspiring gourmands with a solid chunk of disposable income to throw around. Chef Tarver King of the Dining Room at Woodlands Resort and Inn has announced the launch of his “Chef du Jour” one-on-one cooking classes, where for a trifling $600, clients can spend a day in Chef King’s acclaimed kitchen. You’ll have his full attention as you learn how to prepare some of his signature dishes and get customized lessons to suit your interests. Plus, you’ll get a three-course meal with wine pairings, your very own Woodlands chef jacket, and printed recipes to take home. For more info, call 1-800-774-9999. —Josh Rosenthal
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